Raman Lamba Kushal, popularly known as Raman Lamba, was one of the most energetic cricketers you'd ever see on the cricket field. His career in India colours did not quite take off despite promising a lot in the earlier part of it. Some unproductive performances after a smashing start saw him get dropped from the Indian side that had many great cricketers.
Lamba started playing club cricket in Ireland and event represented the Irish side in an unofficial One Day match. He married an Irishwoman as well.
Despite not flourishing in international cricket, Lamba was still a renowned figure. He was one of the first few overseas players to have played club cricket in Bangladesh. Bangladesh were yet to become a full ICC member, but club cricket here was much more competitive than one can think now. Lamba along with some other overseas players added to the attraction. Lamba first played club cricket in Bangladesh in 1991 and used to tell his friends jokingly that he was the 'Don of Dhaka.'
Fast forward to 1998 and Lamba was fielding for Abahani Krira Chakra against Mohammedan Sporting in a Dhaka Premier League match at the Dhaka Stadium. During those days, Abahani and Mohammedan used to be arch-rivals. They still are.
Khaled Mashud Pilot was Abahani's stand-in skipper. He brought a left-arm spinner into the attack for one over. After three balls, Mashud decided to have a fielder at forward short-leg. Raman, known for his superb fielding in these positions, was called. Mashud asked him to wear a helmet but Lamba refused, saying that it was only a matter of three balls.
The delivery was dragged down and Mehrab Hossain Aupee pulled the ball which hit straight into Lamba's forehead and then rebounded beyond Mashud who backpedalled to take the catch. The first thing he did after the dismissal was checking on Lamba. He got up and assured the fielders that he was alright and walked off unassisted. A few minutes later, he started to feel unwell and was rushed to a hospital. It was revealed that he suffered from an internal brain haemorrhage. A specialist was flown from India but all the efforts went in vain. He slipped into a coma and the doctors suggested that there was no chance of surviving.
Lamba's ventilator was turned off three days after he got hit with his family's approval. His wife along with his five-year old son and three-year-old daughter were present at that time.
Mehrab Hossain, the batsman whose shot hit Lamba, was deeply shocked and depressed. He couldn't sleep for a few days and even took a break from cricket. Aminul Islam Bulbul, who was the nonstriking batsman and a good friend of Lamba said that a stand in his name in the Bangabandhu Stadium was promised but it didn't happen as cricket is no more played there.
Renowned Indian journalist Vijay Lokapally rightly wrote, "He always dressed young, thought young and played young. Alas! He died young."
Had that incident not taken place at the then Dhaka Stadium (now Bangabandhu National Stadium), he would've turned sixty today.